News

Gov. Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a briefing on COVID-19 updates. 

Watch live here starting at 4:30 p.m.:

 

Credit: Union County Government

With rare consensus from Democrats and Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives, House Bill 1169 — which outlines provisions for an anticipated increase in absentee-by-mail voting this fall — passed 116-3 last week.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Attorney General William Barr is holding a news conference Thursday with other leaders of the Justice Department, including FBI Director Christopher Wray. The remarks come amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and racial inequality.

Watch the press conference live at 12:30 p.m.

Historical photograph of men in a truck
Library of Congress

Anti-racist activists are protesting across the country in response to police brutality against people of color, particularly black men. This latest wave began after George Floyd, a black man, died after a white former Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. An independent autopsy concluded Floyd's cause of death as "asphyxiation from sustained pressure." Floyd was in police custody for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. Many recognize that white racism and violence against black and brown people lead to this civil unrest, but what causes white violence?

Courtesy of Jooselord

Inciting riots is his God-given gift, the Durham rapper admits. Jooselord does it regularly on stage and his upcoming release — “MoshPit Messiah” —  is a testament to that skill. So it was a surprise to some of Jooselord’s fans when he maintained peace at protests over the past week in Raleigh and Durham.

Courtesy of Shayla Stewart

High school seniors are missing out on final milestones, performances and events that'd normally help mark the end of a signifcant chapter in their lives. For Shayla Stewart, a senior graduating from Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, missing prom is just one of the things she was looking forward to.

People gathered outside CMPD headquarters in uptown Charlotte on May 30 to protest. (WFAE)
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

The police department in North Carolina's largest city is coming under criticism after a video posted to social media appeared to show officers using chemical agents on demonstrators who were boxed in while protesting the death of George Floyd.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Active-duty troops brought in to help if needed with the civil unrest in the nation's capitol are beginning to return to their home base, after two days of more peaceful demonstrations in Washington, D.C., senior defense officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

NC DHHS

Thirty-nine percent of the people with confirmed cases of coronavirus in North Carolina are Hispanic. But Latinos only make up 9.6% of the total population. Health experts say the disproportionate rate is due to working and living conditions as well as access to culturally-appropriate health care and information. 
 

University students sit in a classroom
Tulane Public Relations

In 2016, a 43-year-old black man named Keith Lamont Scott was shot by police about a mile away from the main campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The shooting sparked demonstrations in the student body, but the administration was slow to respond. 
 

Courtesy of Chris Suggs

As protests against police brutality, harassment and discrimination continue across the state, community leaders and citizens are taking time to reflect on their own experiences with law enforcement and the country’s long history of racial disparity in policing. 

Richard Phillips / North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The Rocky Mount City Council has voted to remove a Confederate monument from a city park.

The 6-1 vote during Tuesday night's budget meeting was prompted by Councilman Andre Knight during a discussion about renovations in Battle Park, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported.

Protests in Greensboro began Tuesday night with people taking a knee and doing the black power salute to remember why they marched: for George Floyd, who died last week in Minneapolis while in police custody, and also Marcus Smith, who died in Greensboro
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

Cities across the Triangle and Triad witnessed a night of peaceful demonstrations, more than a week after the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

How does a campaign fundraise during a pandemic? If the RNC departs from Charlotte, does that give anyone a political advantage? Will we see the customary election-year rallies this fall?  

North Carolina political strategist Jonathan Felts offers his answers on this episode of the WUNC Politics Podcast. And he talks about working with future candidates for office in Afghanistan. 


In the past week, protests have taken place throughout North Carolina, and across the country, in response to the death of George Floyd. Floyd, who was born in North Carolina, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis last week. In a video, Floyd can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” while the officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

The ongoing protests are also fueled by historic and longstanding violence and institutional inequalities perpetrated against black Americans- inequalities that have been illuminated by the pandemic’s death toll.

We talk with William Darity, director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center for Social Equity at Duke University, and the co-author of the new book “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.” We also hear from Brianna Baker, a public health analyst with RTI International, about attending a protest in Raleigh on Saturday and why she feels an urgency to organize despite a pandemic.


Line of police officers in riot gear face a line of kneeling protesters.
Jason deBruyn/WUNC

For the last three nights, people in communities around North Carolina raised their voices and demonstrated against police brutality against black people. The death of George Floyd sparked these protests in the Tar Heel state and around the country.

A bus stop is covered with signs, posters and flowers in remembrance of George Floyd, who died in police custody.
Creative Commons

As of June 2, The Washington Post reports on-duty police officers have shot and killed 422 people in 2020 — on par with the average number of fatal police shootings in the U.S. despite the way the coronavirus pandemic has changed or slowed down everyday life. 

Mugshot of Chauvin.
Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via AP

On Memorial Day, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, leaving it there after Floyd lost consciousness and became unresponsive. 

Melissa Sue Gerrits / Carolina Public Press, via AP

Police officers in Fayetteville took a knee in solidarity with protesters Monday, two days after the city had experienced violence and looting.

Vote Here sign
Erik Hersman / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/1ezRl1S

North Carolina is accustomed to deep partisan divisions over elections law. Republicans and Democrats, along with voting rights advocates, have been battling at the Legislature and in court over issues like redistricting and voter ID for most of the past decade.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, Senior Deputy Director for the Division of Public Health Dr. Cardra Burns and Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry will be available today for a briefing regarding COVID-19.

Watch live here starting at 2 p.m.:

Police in riot gear protect the old state capitol building in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Allen G. Breed / AP

Updated at 4:17 p.m. on 6/1/2020.

North Carolina’s capital city is enacting a curfew starting Monday night, after two nights of protests sparked by the latest killing of a black man by police led to street fires, store break-ins, and fireworks being thrown at officers.

Courtesy of Jessica Yinka Thomas

Jessica Yinka Thomas grew up in both the United States and West Africa. Her father, a Nigerian economics professor, and her mother, an American computer scientist, raised their four kids between Miami, Nigeria, Senegal and eventually Maryland to get them ready for college in the states.

Volunteers work to clean up and repair damage in downtown Raleigh, N.C., after a night of angry clashes between police and protestors left much of Downtown Raleigh damaged on Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Protests broke out in several North Carolina cities over the weekend. Almost all of them began peacefully, but as darkness descended each night, violent confrontations and looting took place in Fayetteville, Charlotte, and Raleigh. It was particularly damaging in the state capitol, where protestors damaged almost every storefront on Fayetteville Street.

Raleigh city and police officials held a press conference Sunday morning to discuss unrest in the city Saturday night.
Jason de Bruyn / WUNC

Gov. Roy Cooper is scheduled to hold a news briefing to discuss last night's unrest in cities across the state in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Watch live here starting at 4 p.m.:

At a press conference Sunday, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said there were two protests Saturday night: one peaceful, the other violent. She said to the second group: "You are not Raleigh."
Jason de Bruyn / WUNC

North Carolina's capital city is cleaning up after a night of protests in response to the death of George Floyd led to what the city's police chief described as "anarchy."

Protesters march through downtown Raleigh on Saturday, May 30, 2020 to denouce the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Peyton Sickles / For WUNC

Updated at 8:34 a.m.

More than 1,000 protesters walked through downtown Raleigh Saturday evening to denounce the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Some carried signs that said "I can't breathe" and "Racism is not patriotism." Others chanted "No justice, No peace."

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

This week began with President Trump trying to lure Gov. Roy Cooper into a tussle on Twitter.

It concluded with North Carolina's health secretary pressing for more details about how the organizers of the Republican National Convention plan to safely hold the event in Charlotte this August. 

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch ponder that, and also state lawmakers' bipartisan agreement on an elections bill and discord over letting bars reopen sooner rather than later while COVID-19 remains a threat.  
 


A child care subsidy for essential workers expires this weekend, but there's funding making its way through the General Assembly that could help.

The aid program was set up by the state health and human services department for workers like nurses and bus drivers after the governor issued his stay-at-home order.

Two heads of state clashed this week after President Trump put Governor Roy Cooper in the crosshairs of his active, and now partially fact-checked, Twitter account. Trump threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina if Cooper couldn’t guarantee full capacity for the event in August.

On Thursday, the Republican National Committee sent Cooper a set of guidelines on safety at the convention, but Cooper has asked for more details on the vague game plan.

Meanwhile, the General Assembly is already looking toward November and voters' safety at the polls. A bill is moving through the state legislature that would grant easier access to voting by mail in the upcoming elections.

We talk with WUNC politics reporter Rusty Jacobs about the bill and how it might influence the way people in North Carolina vote this fall.


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